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Renewables are here

Right now, our energy supply is deeply dependent on coal, and our electricity grid is one of the most polluting in the worldX. Australia is the only G20 country in the OECD that still relies on burning coal for the majority of its electricity generationX  but it doesn’t have to be this way.

With more than two million rooftops already fitted with solar PV, homegrown renewables just keep getting more popular. Thanks to a surge in investment, renewable energy sources like solar and wind are now also cheaper to build.X This means a large-scale rollout of renewables is the cleaner, more reliable and cheaper option to meet Australia’s energy needs. Big companies like BlueScope are getting involved too, making some of the largest solar power purchasing deals everX.

In all, Australia is on track to source more than one-third of its power from renewable energy within two years.Even more could be possible across the whole energy system with some policy leadership and certainty at the national level. With the renewable resources we have, we could go beyond powering our country with clean sources — we could be exporting renewable energy to the rest of our region. Leading economist Professor Ross Garnaut has said that Australia could become a clean energy superpower, if we set our sights on itX — but we’ll only be able to reap these opportunities if we act before other markets do. To harness our energy potential, we need to upgrade our electricity grid, set our clean energy sights higher, and make the most of our plentiful wind and solar resources.

Read more:

  1. Managing the Phase out of Coal: A comparison of Actions in G20 countries. International Secretariat of Climate Transparency. May 2019.
  2. As above; and For Climate's Sake: Coal Free by 2030. Climate Analytics Report 2019. 
  3. Annual update finds renewables are cheapest new-build power. CSIRO & AEMO. 21 December 2018.
  4. Biggest solar deal: BlueScope to use 500,000 solar panels. Australian Financial Review. 19 July 2018.
  5. Green Energy Markets, via The Guardian. Clean energy set to provide 35% of Australia's electricity within two years. The Guardian. July 31 2019. 
  6. Australia could aim for 700 per cent renewables, ARENA boss. Renew Economy. 8 October 2019.  

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